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15 Best Travel Dresses for Your Next Trip

An easy way to stay comfortable and look classy while traveling.

ghi travel dresses

Nothing is worse than opening your suitcase after a long flight and finding your clothes all wrinkled. Searching your hotel for an iron isn't a huge hassle, but who wants to look like a crumpled mess and waste time ironing clothes upon arrival? Keep your vacation stress-free by neatly packing your luggage with clothes designed for travel. Even if you're not planning a vacation anytime soon, travel dresses are perfect to wear for busy summer days when you only want to wear comfy activewear but need to look more polished.

The Good Housekeeping Institute Textiles Lab chose these picks as the ultimate travel dresses because they are from brands experts love and trust, have innovative features and received rave reviews from happy customers. These travel dresses are designed to stay cool, avoid wrinkles and are easy to clean — they will keep you looking stylish and put together from the first day of your trip to the last. Here are the top picks for best travel dresses of 2021:

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Best Short Sleeve Travel Dress
Casual T-Shirt Dress with Pockets
Now 48% off

  • Over 25,000 Amazon reviews
  • Thick, not clingy material
  • Soft and stretchy for all day wear

  • Hand-wash only

A basic short sleeve dress is a versatile travel must-buy. This dress from Korsis has over 25,000 Amazon reviews, with reviewers saying it's "soft and not too thin" and "perfect for traveling." Many recommended sizing down if you prefer a tighter fit. We love that it's available in over 20 colors and patterns — you'll want to fill your whole wardrobe with these affordable, comfy dresses. Note this style is hand wash only.

Best Long-Sleeved Travel Dress
Long-Sleeve Banded Collar Shirt Dress with Pockets
Amazon Essentials
Amazon Essentials

  • Soft viscose fabric
  • Ten color options
  • XS to XXL sizing

  • Some reviewers found it too clingy

Whether headed to the beach or out to dinner, this button-up looks crisp and stylish for every occasion. Amazon Essentials designed this shirt dress to have a band collar and long sleeves that can easily be cuffed. Reviewers love the 100% viscose fabric saying it's "super soft" while also flattering. Add cute tights in the winter months or cuff the sleeves in the summer to wear this dress year round.

Best Exercise Travel Dress
The Exercise Dress
Outdoor Voices
Outdoor Voices

  • Seven color options
  • Popular for its versatility

  • Built in shorts ride up, according to some users

The Outdoor Voices Exercise Dress has a cult-like following for being a summer necessity. It has a built-in bra and shorts to keep you supported and covered. You can wear this lightweight nylon and spandex dress working out — biking, golfing, hiking — or just running errands. With nearly 3,000 rave reviews, reviewers say it's a "10/10 purchase" with one writing "to say I’m obsessed is an understatement."

Best Formal Travel Dress
V-Neck Pattern Knee Length Dress with Pockets

  • Offers short sleeve or strap styles
  • Dressy enough for the the beach or even weddings

  • Some reviewers found the waist to be too high

If you're headed to a more formal event, a dress that doesn't require steaming is a game changer. With thousands of glowing reviews, reviewers especially love that this dress is available with either short sleeves or straps. With 39 color and pattern options and a $30 price point, reviewers have worn this dress everywhere from the beach to weddings.

Best Maxi Travel Dress
Loose Pocket Maxi Dress with Pockets
Now 18% off

  • Cult-favorite
  • 40 color and pattern options

  • Some reviewers found the loose shape unflattering

With over 21,000 5-star Amazon reviews, this maxi dress is a reviewer fave. Made of mostly rayon with a bit of spandex, this affordable pick should stretch and fight off wrinkles even on a busy day. Plus, it has two side slits, so it can easily be styled up or down. This pick is available in an impressive 40 shades, including solid colors, bright tie-dye and floral patterns.

RELATED: I Own This $24 Amazon Dress in 4 Colors (and I Want More)

Best Moisture Wicking Travel Dress
Expedition Skort Dress

  • Top-tested brand
  • Made with recycled materials
  • Sizes 00-26

  • Some reviewers found it big on top

A moisture wicking dress makes a hot, humid day much more bearable. Athleta is known for their super comfy leggings (one of our leggings test winners!) but their travel pieces are new standouts. This perfect travel dress is made from recycled polyester and spandex so it will stay soft while keeping you cool. With side pockets, long seams, and stretch from the spandex, this dress is sure to flatter.

Best Sweatshirt Travel Dress
Long Sleeve Pullover Hoodie Dress with Pockets

  • Moisture-wicking polyester fabric
  • 42 bold color and pattern options

  • Scratchy material

A cozy sweatshirt dress is an elevated basic that's perfect to wear with leggings on longer trips. This dress from Auxo on Amazon has 42 color and pattern options, including fun holiday prints. Because of the polyester fabric, you're less likely to overheat than if you wore cotton sweats. Reviewers love wearing this sweatshirt oversized, so many recommend ordering a few sizes up.

Best Size Range Travel Dress
Geneva Dress
Universal Standard
Universal Standard

  • Size-inclusive brand
  • Long sleeves or short sleeves available

  • Some reviewers found the hem seam to fray with continued wear

Universal Standard is known for having an impressive range of sizes in every style on the site. This best-selling dress is made from soft Peruvian cotton that's designed to be pill resistant and colorfast. In addition to being available in 11 sizes, there's also a long sleeve option too. Reviewers say it's the perfect dress to "wear to work or lounging around the house."

Best Soft Travel Dress
Signature Soft V-Neck Pocket Dress
Lou & Grey
Lou & Grey

  • Feels like your favorite sweats
  • Machine washable

  • Can be near-shapeless for some

Lou & Grey is popular for the brand's super soft sweats. This summer, try swapping your sweats for this soft T-shirt dress. Reviewers rave that the fabric is luxuriously soft, but to size down if you don't want an oversized fit. If you're worried about it losing its cozy feel in the wash, one reviewer said it "washes like a gem."

Best Slip Travel Dress
The Japanese GoWeave Slip Dress

  • Available in sizes 00 to 16
  • Wrinkle-resistant fabric

  • Only available in one color

Everlane is popular for luxury pieces at a more affordable price. This Everlane dress is made of triacetate fabric, which is known for being smooth and crease-resistant and ideal for traveling. After a long day, this luxe slip dress can be thrown in the wash. The brand is very transparent about their supply chain, making it easy to know where your clothes are made.

Most Comfortable Travel Dress
Cotton Model Jersey Surplice Fit and Flare Dress
Lands' End
Lands' End

  • Ultra-soft jersey knit
  • Flattering A-line design

  • Shipping cost

This Lands' End knit dress is available in petite, regular and plus sizing to make it easier to find your perfect fit. With eight pattern options, reviewers rave that it "looks professional enough to wear to work but feels like pajamas." The jersey knit cotton/modal fabric is super soft with a flattering A-line cut that falls just below the knee.

Best Fitted Travel Dress
Slim-Fit Above-Knee Dress

  • Soft cotton blend fabric
  • Built-in shelf bra
  • Coolmax fibers for cooling feel

  • Pricey

If you love the soft, snug fit of Lululemon leggings, this fitted midi dress is ideal for you. The dress is made with stretchy nylon/modal/cotton/elastane for a flattering design that also wicks away moisture, and it's both soft and fitted. This slim fit dress falls above the knee for a chic look while keeping you fully covered. We love that it has an inner lining with Coolmax fibers to keep you cooler on hot summer days.

Best Dress for Work Travel
Everyway Tie Dress with Pockets
Epoque Evolution
Époque Évolution

  • Can be worn tied in the front or back
  • Machine washable

  • Pricey

When traveling for business, you want professional wear that will look great right out of your carry-on but also easy to care for on the go introducing Époque Évolution. This label designs pieces that are made for the professional traveler. Made from 100% merino wool, this dress is wrinkle resistant and helps maintain your body temperature, ideal to be worn every season. In other words, this dress is designed to be super comfy while traveling and still look crisp and professional all day. We love that it is machine washable too.

Best Travel Dress with Pockets
Dorothy Dress with Hidden Pockets
Scott e Vest

  • Designed to protect against pickpockets
  • Available in nine sizes

  • Only comes in black

When visiting a new place, you want to be on the alert for pickpockets. Avoid carrying a purse at all by wearing a dress that has a place for everything. SCOTTeVEST designs clothes with hidden pockets to protect you from sneaky pickpockets. This dress has four hidden pockets designed to hold your phone, wallet, sunglasses, keys, and more. Stay safe while looking great in this flattering, short sleeve pick.

Best Dress for Active Travel
Everyday 2-in-1 Activity Euphoria Dress

  • Built-in bra
  • Supportive adjustable top
  • Over ten color and pattern choices

  • Shorts are built-in

Halara workout dresses have become wildly popular because they're flattering while feeling comfy all day. This dress is made from a nylon and elastane blend, so it is moisture-wicking while retaining its shape and stretch. The built-in interior shelf bra and adjustable straps makes this dress supportive and comfy for a whole day of active, outdoor activities. Plus, it has a built in pair of shorts to keep you fully covered.

When shopping for travel dresses, here are some shopping tips:
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  • Check out the fabric. Generally, knits and stretchy fabrics will stay wrinkle-free while woven fabrics crease more easily. Polyester and cotton blends are popular since they give the feel of cotton with the performance of polyester.
  • Make sure it's washable. Remember that you may not have access to dry cleaning while traveling so pick pieces that are hand or machine washable for easy care on the go.
  • Ensure it's versatile. Make sure you will be able to style each dress multiple ways so you can keep your suitcase light with room to bring home souvenirs!
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